ARTICLES

Eat FAT and grow SLIM

Here’s a reprieve for the thousands of fatties who’ve been hungry and depressed for years on Melba toast and lettuce. Throw away your calorie counters, shun starches and sugars, and spread gobs of butter on everything—that’s what the man says

DR. RAY N. LAWSON February 14 1959
ARTICLES

Eat FAT and grow SLIM

Here’s a reprieve for the thousands of fatties who’ve been hungry and depressed for years on Melba toast and lettuce. Throw away your calorie counters, shun starches and sugars, and spread gobs of butter on everything—that’s what the man says

DR. RAY N. LAWSON February 14 1959

Eat FAT and grow SLIM

Here’s a reprieve for the thousands of fatties who’ve been hungry and depressed for years on Melba toast and lettuce. Throw away your calorie counters, shun starches and sugars, and spread gobs of butter on everything—that’s what the man says

DR. RAY N. LAWSON

A noted Canadian doctor (who lost thirty pounds himself) joins an expert hand of pioneers and urges

Anyone here like to make a bet what killed Jack Sprat of nursery-rhyme fame? My guess is a coronary.

Since no one at this late date can prove me wrong, let me paint a new word-picture of him. He was bulging, red-faced, harassed and crabby; he worried all day long and at night had horrible dreams about a spook named Cholesterol. He died suddenly in his mid-forties. Jack Sprat would eat no fat.

If Jack had eaten plenty of butter and eggs, if he had tucked into a good fat slice of pork regularly and if he had stayed away from that “slimming" warped toast called Melba, he would have lasted much longer and enjoyed it much more.

As recently as a year ago that statement would have raised most eyebrows in the medical profession. Most of them will still likely twitch a .bit. But day by day doctors are beginning to be more sensible about the question ot tat in the diet and about the inconvenience or downright danger of omitting it. One after another doctors and experimenters are finding out that eating fat does not add weight and, in fact, that a diet high in fats and low' in carbohydrates is the speediest, healthiest, happiest way to take off pounds.

Sounds silly, doesn't it? But that is because most of us have been brainwashed for many, many years about the dangers of eating fat; we find it hard to face an old truth that has come to light.

It is well to remember that fat eating is not new' to mankind. It was once his way. Only in relatively recent times have we drifted away from it, and lately that drift has been hard against it. Your “reason” may have to fight against the tide. But a few people at least are on the right track.

Dr. Richard Mackarncss, of London, England. has come out with a potent little volume that tells the story in its brief title. Eat Eat And Grow Slim (Collins of Canada). He writes about the detailed medical research undertaken at the Middlesex Hospital where controlled experiments using three different diets of equal caloric value proved that the high-fat diet removed excess weight fastest.

The explorer, writer, traveler and long-liver,

80-year-old Vilhjalmur Stefansson, has been explaining it and demonstrating it to doctors for years.

Eor two years now I have been living as a fat-eater myself and the results have frankly astonished me. Not only have I lost thirty pounds, but I find I have about twice the energy I had before and I have a completely new outlook on life.

Man’s rediscovery of

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“Day by day the lack of proof is beating down the fanatics’ charges against cholesterol”

fat is not really a story of this century. In 1862 an experienced medical man in Britain, a surgeon by the name of Harvey put a worried, heavyweight patient on such a diet. The patient. William Ban ting, had tried everything; he was at his

wit's end. The diet worked. So well in fact that Banting wrote and published at his own expense, a pamphlet called Letter On Corpulence in 1864. The result was rather upsetting, since the diet was diametrically opposed to the prevailing theo-

ries of the day. This was the kiss of death for surgeon Harvey, and his medical practice was so severely threatened he had to weasel out of responsibility for the diet to stay in the sawbones business.

But Banting, who had lost fifty pounds in less than a year, taken twelve inches ofl his waist and ordered a whole new wardrobe of suits, just kept right on eating fat and loving it. He peeled himself down to a neat hundred and fifty-six pounds and lived with zest to the age of eighty-one, urging others to follow him in his happy dieting. * Only his published pamphlet and some complimentary letters he received and later published remain today to remind us that we might have been getting back on the right eating track a century ago.

As a surgeon myself I’m not trying to outdo the timid Dr. Harvey of 1862. In fact I have no elaborate theories backed up by large-scale practical studies of my owm.

Actually, of course, practically nothing is known accurately about high-fat diets. They are new to mankind in the period during which he has kept records of his knowledge. This being so, how can they be criticized authoritatively? We all like to issue profundities—whether or not we have the facts—which entitles pro-fat people to at least as intelligent a hearing as the anti-fat lobby.

Kill the fatted cattle

On that basis I seriously wag a finger under the noses of those who still maintain that fatties should shun fat and I strongly suggest that their lack of authenticated data is no basis for driving millions of w'orried overweights into an even more worried state by starving them.

And I do say that it seems ridiculous to see our Western Canadian beef-cattle men trying to grow leaner and leaner steers at a time when the world is beginning to wake up about fat-eating.

About this point some voice at the back of the hall is going to holler “What about cholesterol?” Glad you brought it up. Cholesterol has been the villain of the piece for a good many years now. l et's take a look behind his false mustache.

Cholesterol is a fat-like substance that has people scared silly. In the non-professional version of the crime, it is supposed to settle out of the fat in the blood stream, coat the insides of the blood vessels and eventually block them. Presto, heart attack. Coronary.

This is not a technical paper so I won't go into the details of the battle that has been going on among the experts. but day by day the lack of proof is beating down the charge against cholesterol. The fanatics who have warned against it for years are one by one slipping discreetly off the band wagon. The latest surrender was the panel discussion at a New York medical meeting that came up with the consensus: no factual proof that high blood cholesterol level hastens the onset of arteriosclerosis (that clogging business in the arteries) and blood cholesterol level is of doubtful value in diagnosing heart disease. Spokesman for the panel was Dr. Charles F. Wilkinson, Jr., of New' York.

If you want a simple picture, look at the few remaining primitive Eskimos. They eat fats (both saturated and unsaturated. to use medical distinctions); they eat blubber and oil all the time Never a chip of Melba toast. Never a bit of lettuce or cottage cheese. Yet these folk have never heard of heart disease

I hey are strangers to diabetes and cancer too. They have no ulcers or anxiety states. True, they tend to die younger than we do, but the answer is simple: starvation, pneumonia and a lack of antibiotics.

Oh yes. say the skeptics, but Eskimos need fat. They live in such a cold climate. If you have ever lived inside an igloo where people regularly peel to the waist, or worked strenuously for a while in a wind-shielding Eskimo parka outfit, you will maintain that they spend most of their lives with their bodies surrounded by a tropical atmosphere. And in the : opics. of course, people love to eat fat. all they can get. For instance "cracklings" are sold like candy in many places.

It was Eskimos that first got me looking into this fat business. I have been fortunate enough to make some eighteen trips into the northland. They have been wonderfully instructive trips. While my principal medical studies of Eskimos were in connection with breast cancer (I found none) I could not help but notice what a placid and cheerful lot of people they were, and generally healthy. Eskimos in the raw. that is. Those reoriented to the white man's ways and his eating habits. soon start picking up his citified diseases

The principal difference between the Eskimos out on the ice and those in the white man's care, was one of diet. It w;as worth looking at carefully and it led to some big question marks about fat-eating, cholesterol and all those definite dietary rules and regulations that “everyone knows are true.”

It also led me to Stefansson. a man who had lived with Eskimos for years at a stretch, survived on fat and blubber, returned to civilization, undergone elaborate, year-long, controlled diet experimentation in New York’s Bellevue Hospital and had written several books on the subject, perhaps the best of them. I he Fat of The Land.

Keeping in touch with Stefansson is exciting in itself. He is nearing eighty years of age and his letters are long and exhilarating. The meat-and-fat diet, he explains, makes you mildly hilarious and certainly garrulous. It makes you cheerful and confident in the face of disbelief and sneering criticism. In general it makes you cheerful all the time.

Ever notice that people who avoid meat tend to be quarrelsome? Some of the most rabid of the religious sects arc devoted vegetarians.

Dr. Mackarness sums it up tersely. Cain the farmer and vegetarian killed Abel the hunter. Masai meat-and-fateating herdsmen and hunters in Africa are slim, healthy and get along with people, while their neighboring Kikuyu live on cereals, arc fear-ridden and cook

up such fanatical sects as the Mau Mau. He claims too that almost all Britain’s embezzlers are fat. but admits that might be a sign of success in their business.

And what is this “diet”?

First let us get rid of the word diet. Diets are difficult things and no one likes them. Just set* about to change your eating habits a bit. If you can make this psychological switch you'll not only find the going easier and more fun but you'll be less likely to be champing at the bit to get to the end of the diet. In fact, if you cat fat and scorn carbohydrates for

an honest month you will forget about going back to former eating habits.

This is one of the strange and satisfying things about the process. While most diets are disheartening things in the forced limitations which they place on your variety of food, this method for some as yet unaccounted reason actually leaves yon contented with the foods that you do eat. You lose that yearning for a heaping plate of spaghetti or a doubledip banana-split.

And you'll never feel those dreadful hunger pangs that seem to be with you

through all your former dieting days. The body appears to burn fat at a slower rate than it burns the carbohydrates. Your food intake lasts longer and while you are ready for the next meal when it comes around, you don't have those ravenous periods of starving yourself into slimness.

Want another wonderful bit of news? You can stop counting calories.

Eating fat acts on the metabolism of the body to produce better combustion or burning up of the food you do eat. It speeds up the process. So throw away

your caloric book and have a goinl time.

Now for some of the things to cat.

Meat, all kinds of meat. And the fatter the better, fiat the fat and enjoy it. If you don't enjoy it at first, remember you have been brainwashed against it. so keep trying and in a few weeks you will find that a big lump of fat. or a big chunk of butter is like candy to you. Macon in the morning? Sure. Lots of it And have your eggs fried in fat too. Avoid the toast, of course, but take cream in your coffee if you like it. And if you prefer your coffee black drink a glass of milk or

cream on the side as well as your coffee.

There must be hundreds of different types of cheeses, hat them all and keep trying new varieties. You will find some new eating excitement this way.

Plenty of butter. Put it on anything you happen to be eating: corned beef, sirloin steak or cheese, make sure you have plenty of butter with it.

Oils of all kinds are fine, mayonnaise is wonderful. Peanuts and peanut butter are good (mix a few raisins with the peanuts for variety now and then if you want to).

It is all right to eat non-starchy vegetables. especially if you are not trying desperately to loose a great deal of weight. Mut even then you use them as carriers for butter. You'll get all the vitamins you need in your fresh meat.

Fish is fine. All kinds of it. And fowl.

Now the taboos (of course the new cult has its own set). Simply said—no starches, no sugars. Pastry, bread, macaroni. spaghetti, cakes, cookies—anything made with flour is out. Potatoes and corn are starchy. Means too. If you are trying to avoid carbohydrates to lose

weight, skip these things entirely. If you are just controlling your diet moderately take them in very small servings and balance them with a high intake of fat which will speed up your metabolism and help burn the carbohydrates off. Hut small quantities, remember. And eat plenty of fat w'ith them.

Candy and sugar are, of course, on the bad list. Most soft drinks are loaded with sugar. Hard liquor, strange to say. is not too bad in this direction. It is a fat solvent and seems to metabolize in the breakdown system. However, it might spark the appetite beyond the body’s immediate needs. In any event you don't need to be a teetotaler. Wines, particularly dry wines, can be used in moderate quantities. Hut avoid beer with its builtin carbohydration if you would be trim.

If the list of "don'ts" upsets you. consider the following:

1. This course should only interest you if you are trying to get yourself out of overweight condition which is likely dangerous (statistics do prove that the fat die younger than the thin).

2. You can have fun experimenting with meats, fats, cheeses and permissible things.

3. After you have been at it a while you'll forget about those urges for sweets.

4. You are likely going to cheat anyway so just remember to keep a close check on the cheating.

Don’t let your cheating get to be regular. And if you want to cheat try something like ice cream. There is not a great deal of sugar in it. the cream or mHk is good for you and if you can get homemade ice cream you'll avoid the thickening agent which is likely starchy. You might even find some small manufacturer using eggs to thicken his "home-made" ice cream. Wonderful.

5. You know you are supposed to avoid salt. If you eat fat you will discover that you automatically and unconsciously reduce your salt intake. No pain, no annoyance, no will power. First thing you know you will find yourself eating eggs without any salt on them. And enjoying them more than ever.

6. Fruits, particularly fresh fruits, will bring you joy. Hut please look at that message on the label of the canned stuff. It says "thirty-five percent sugar added." or some such figure.

One more question may be on your mind: How will my liver take all this? Well. I watched one fat-eater who was stricken with an attack of acute hepatitis, one of the most severe infections the liver can contract. He refused the urging of his doctors to give up his fat-eating and "give your liver a rest." He recovered faster than normal and with no bad results. And he's still at it.

Other doctors, incidentally, are at work todax on a theory that eating fat will help reduce danger of gallstones. For instance gallstones can be created in some animals by withdrawal of fat from their diet.

Like any non-technical paper this report is cursory and deals largely in generalities. Specific differences vary from one human being to another and common sense in these matters is generally un common. Naturally it is xvell to discuss these ideas xxith your own doctor before you make any major change in any ot your life habits, including eating. If he warns you against fat. make sure it is not solely to give fashionable advice safelx in line xxith current trends. He max have a good reason. If not. you could well be suffering unnecessary food deprivals and may be missing out on a lot of good eating. ★